Saturday, July 30, 2005

War on Terror - greatly condensed, in Geek-speak

Here's another frivolous post from my work blog. It's the War on Terror as a computer program. Actually not really a computer program, but a series of commands in the Bourne Shell, the standard user interface to the UNIX operating system, having some programming capability.

I doubt that this will seem funny or even interesting to most readers. As a sometime Unix user (though hardly one at all), I liked the original post when I saw it yesterday. It comes from a blog by a programmer at Sun Microsystems as you can tell from the url: . "Thin Guy" doesn't refer to the author's anatomy (or not just to it) but to a Sun product line: some network software and a "thin client," vaguely akin to our old Comterms, for use on the network. The following is quoted from the blog; to make it easier to read, I haven't done the usual indenting.

The War on Terror - For Dummies

This one is for all the folks who read this and said "I don't get it".  Like my wife...So if you couldn't stop laughing and people around you just didn't understand, send them here.  Remember the humor is in the fact that you can make history look like a computer geeks daily job, not in the war.

As viewed through the thingy you type commands into on a non-microsoft operating system. (Kind of like a DOS prompt, but different)

$ cd /middle_east  [Change Directory , i.e. go there]
$ ls [Show files/directories]
Afghanistan   Iraq          Libya         Saudi_Arabia  UAE
Algeria       Israel        Morrocco      Sudan         Yemen
Bahrain       Jordan        Oman          Syria                          [Countries in the Middle East]
Egypt         Kuwait        Palestine     Tunisia
Iran          Lebanon       Qatar         Turkey

$ cd Afghanistan [Go into Afghanistan]
$ ls [Look around Afghanistan]
bin  Taliban     [We see bin (bin usually contains binary or executable programs) and the Taliban]
$ rm Taliban [Remove the file Taliban ]
rm: Taliban is a directory [Whoops not that easy]
$ cd Taliban [Go into Taliban Structure]
$ ls [Look around]
soldiers [OK, we find soldiers]
$ rm soldiers [Smoke 'em out!]
$ cd .. [Job done, let's get out of there]
$ rmdir Taliban [Let's try to remove the Taliban again, this time we're smarter]
rmdir: directory "Taliban": Directory not empty [Damn!  I thought we got everybody]
$ cd Taliban [Goin' back in!]
$ ls -a [Let's look in hidden places i.e. caves!]
.            ..           .insurgents  [Crap who are these guys?]
$ chown -R USA .* [ Let's make them ours.  Off to Gitmo!]
chown: .insurgents: Not owner   [They're not talking.  We can't make them.  Damn Amnesty International!]
$ cd ..      [OK, let's back up a bit - up one directory to be precise]
$ su         [Super User!  He can do anything, even if it's not right.  Kind of like a President.]
Password: ******* [Super Secret Code word]
# mv Taliban /tmp [Super User aka "root" moves the "Taliban" problem to the back burner]
# exit    [Can't stay invoke all my super powers at once, people will talk.  Will somebody please shut up that fathead Michael Moore!]
$ ls   [Let's look around Afghanistan again]
bin [Geek joke coming from shirt - apparently out of print]
$ cd bin [wait for it]
$ ls [wait for it]
laden [Ha ha...Get it bin/laden.  Bin Laden.  Usama?]
$ cd .. [We know where he is, let's regroup and do this right]
$ rm -r bin/laden [Remove everything]
bin/laden: No such file or directory [Doh! Where'd he go?]
$ find / -name laden  [Let's search everywhere!]
$                             [Crap.  A blank line can't be good.  We can't find him]
$ su   [Here we go again. Super User!  We'll find him.  But we won't think about him that much]
Password: *******
# mv bin /tmp [Back burner the whole Bin Laden thing]
# exit
$ pwd    [Where are we again?]
/middle_east/Afghanistan [Oh yeah]
$ cd /opt/UN  [Off to the United Nations!  We're all Americans still right?]
$ ln -s /Bad_Guys/Al_Qaeda /middle_east/Iraq/. [Let's try to create a link to Al_Qaeda in Iraq]
ln: cannot create /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda: Permission denied [Stupid French, Germans, and Russians!]
$ su   [We'll make a link.  Remember root can do these things]
# ln -s /Bad_Guys/Al_Qaeda /middle_east/Iraq/.  [See I told you root could do anything.]
# cd /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda   [Let me show you the link]
Al_Qaeda: does not exist  [Ah, but just because you make a link, doesn't mean it's real.  Broken Link.  Dang!]
# rm /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda  [Crap.  New tactic]
# mkfile 100g /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda  [Try to make a very huge case.  Those "converted" vehicles, those WMD's?]
mkfile: No space left on device  [Whoops, out of disk space.  Stupid French, Germans, and Russians again]
# rm /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda [Let's just pretend I didn't try to make that case]
# cd /opt/Coalition/Willing [Psst.  Hey guys.  Who's gonna get all that oil.  Wanna trade?]
# mkfile 1b /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda  [ Make a 1 byte file.  That's really small i.e. a shred of evidence.  Some meeting in a hotel?]
# chown -R USA:Proof /middle_east/Iraq/Al_Qaeda   [ Make it our own.  Our cause.  Our evidence.]
$ cd /middle_east/Iraq [We're going in!  Lock and Load!]
$ ls
saddam                       [We're Looking...]
$ ls
saddam                       [and looking...]
$ ls
saddam                      [and looking, but only find Saddam.  Didn't we used to like him?  Iran/Iraq war anyone?]
$ ls -a                        [Let's look *real* hard]
.            ..           saddam    [Crap.  Where's that evidence we]
$ find / -name [Ww][Mm][Dd]    [Where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction - Any shape or size will do]
/Korea/North/wMd  [Crap.  Someone get the Chinese to handle those guys OK?  We're busy making the world safer.]
$ wall Propaganda.txt [Send out a message.  Election time is coming soon]
Broadcast Message from USA (pts/1) on USS_Abraham_Lincoln Th May 1st
Mission Accomplished! [Yee-ha!...But sorry brave soldiers, you don't get to go home]
$ rm saddam [Let's get him out of there.  The world will be a better place.]
saddam: No such file or directory [Crap.  Not again!  Did you check the palace?]
$ find / -name saddam [He can run but he can't hide]
/var/opt/dictators/spiderhole/saddam [We found him in a spiderhole.  Never heard of a spiderhole before though]
$ wall NewsWorthy.txt [Another Message.  Let's get excited.  Election is getting close!]
Broadcast Message from USA (pts/1) on Time.Magazine Sat Dec 13
We Got Him!  [Yippeee.  I feel safer!]
$ mv /var/opt/dictators/spiderhole/saddam /opt/jail  [Saddam is jailed.  Is it me or does he look like Buddy Hacket?]
$ cd /opt/USA [Go home for some meetings to consult some smart people.  The Plan?  "Install Democracy"]
$ cp -Rp Democracy /middle_east/Iraq [Copy our democracy to Iraq.  Well sort of.]
$ cd /middle_east/Iraq/Democracy [Alright, it's there.  Let's get this party started!  Let Freedom Reign Condi!]
$ ./install [How you run a program in *nix.  No double clicking allowed.]
Install Error: Install failed.  See install_log for details.
$ more install_log [Look at the install log]
Installed failed!
Prerequisite packages missing [Other things must exist before Democracy can take hold]
Conflicting package Wahhabism found in /midde_east/Saudi_Arabia [Opinion - The birth of radical Islam]
Packages Church and State must be installed separately [Opinion from stable democracies]
File System /PeakOil nearing capacity [Opinion.  Scary crap.  Google Peak Oil]
Please read the install guide to properly plan your installation. [Read the f*cking manual and learn from history.]

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